Microsoft's $2B loan to Dell sign of turbulent times in PC biz

Unprecedented deal meets unprecedented flux in the personal computer industry, say analysts

By , Computerworld |  Hardware, Dell, Microsoft

As if Microsoft doesn't face enough problems, on Tuesday reports surfaced that HP's board was considering breaking up the corporation, in some ways a repeat of an aborted plan two years ago to spin off or sell its PC business.

For its part, Dell said only that Microsoft would not be involved in its operations. "Microsoft is making a loan that allows Dell to independently execute its long-term strategy," Dell said in a filing Tuesday with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). "This is a loan and [Microsoft] will not have a direct role in day-to-day operations of Dell."

Dell will reveal more about the deal -- "the material terms," according to yesterday's 8-K filing with the SEC -- in a follow-on document to the regulatory agency. Maybe that will clarify things.

Because everything else in the computer business, it seems, is muddled.

"The top tier of OEMs is in a period of realignment," said Krans. "They're in flux and need a lot of help. And Microsoft has the deepest pockets of anyone in the ecosystem, and they needed to take more of a leadership role. Someone needed to come in and make sure that there's stability there."

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is gkeizer@ix.netcom.com.

Read more about pcs in Computerworld's PCs Topic Center.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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